Just about all the plants we think of as "herbs" are native to France, including hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis
). While not as well known as rosemary and thyme, hyssop deserves a place in your garden for it's lavender-like spikes of deep violet-blue flowers in early summer. In fact, hyssop makes a great lavender substitute in the landscapes of those with soils too heavy to have success with lavender.
As the Latin species name indicates, this herb has had medicinal use for centuries. I'm content to scatter its beautiful aromatic blossoms over a salad of slim summer beans in memory of the late great cookbook author Richard Olney while I watch butterflies hover over its blossoms through the window.
Plant hyssop from spring through early fall in full sun in moderately well-drained to dry soil. It forms a neat mound about 18" high and will bloom the second year from seed. Hyssop is a long-lived perennial.
I've searched for a year to find the right source of French native wildflower seeds to offer you. Here they are! Certified organically grown, these seeds are produced on a family flower farm in the Massif Central
. One hundred percent of the process is artisanal, right down to the seed packets which are decorated with drawings of the content plants by the owner.
Size: 1 g (about 900 seeds)